Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Habersham, 23 January 1801

To Joseph Habersham

Washington Jan. 23. 1801.


I am sorry to add to the numberless application’s which a system as extensive & ramified as that of our posts must occasion you. but I am in hopes the interference, I shall ask, will be inconsiderable, to [re]store [order] in the line, in which I am particularly interested, that which goes from here to Orange, Milton, Charlottesville, & Warren. letters put into the mail here by 5. aclock P.M. on Friday, should arrive at Milton the Thu[rsday] morning following. but for two months past (& how much longer I kn[ow not]) they have not arrived there till the 2d. Thursday, losing a week somew[here.] in returning from Milton &c. here, no time is lost. I suspect Fred[ericksburg] to be the place (not on the grounds which some do, that the P.M. or under […] [being] a printer finds an interest in detaining the Northern mail) but […] the rider’s not waiting the stated hour. but this is mere conjecture: [and I] am in hopes you will be able to set it to rights. it is not […] trials & proofs of the fact between this & Milton, and good information of the same thing from Orange, that I have ventured to trouble you on [the] subject. I am with great esteem Dear Sir

Your most obedt. servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); faint; at foot of text: “Colo. Habersham”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

Joseph Habersham (1751–1815), a merchant from Savannah, Georgia, served as postmaster general from 25 Feb. 1795 to 31 Oct. 1801. He resigned under pressure, disagreeing with the president over appointment policies. Habersham returned to Savannah and served as head of the local branch of the Bank of the United States from 1802 to 1815 (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; Biog. Dir. Cong.; TJ to Gideon Granger, 31 Oct. 1801).

P.M.: Timothy Green served as the postmaster at Fredericksburg in 1801. He also printed the Virginia Herald (see Vol. 30:11).

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